Michael’s 36th Birthday!

September 21, 2015

Happiest of birthdays to you my love!

IMG_5327

Due to the fact that I was working and also preparing for my job interview on Michael’s birthday, we decided to hold off on celebrating until the following day.

Instead, we had a low key night at home. I made him one of his favourites – bacon and mushroom risotto – for dinner.

IMG_5323

September 22, 2015

The following morning, I had my job interview, which was over quite quickly (more about that in a separate post) and I soon found myself back home with Mike!

Luckily, he had the day off as well and we had planned a dinner date/celebration at Tsuruya – a well known Japanese restaurant at the Capricorn Resort in Yeppoon.

We still had the whole day to ourselves though! Always nice to relax at home together on the our days off, catching up with TV shows and just enjoying each other’s company.

Made another special for Michael – shrimp toast for lunch.

IMG_5336

I spent the majority of the morning making the components of Mike’s birthday cake. He requested a ‘German Chocolate Cake‘ because he’d had it before and it was so richly chocolate and decadent. I had never made a German Chocolate Cake before, and after reading its description, insisted that he was mistaken. But the birthday boy was insistent that’s what he wanted! 😉

We headed out to Yeppoon in the early evening for a stroll on the beach and to enjoy the sunset before dinner. Beautiful as always!

IMG_5341

IMG_5342

IMG_5343

Sculpture on Yeppoon beach front against the sunset

IMG_5348

Framed

IMG_5349

Gorgeous sunset colours

IMG_5357

One last photo together before heading to dinner!

IMG_1890

I will talk about our awesome dinner at Tsuruya in the next post!

We saved room for dessert, birthday cake! It doesn’t look the prettiest, but I tell you, it was tasty! Turns out German Chocolate Cake is not German at all! Invented in the US by a man with the last name German. Chocolate cake topped with a coconut-pecan frosting. Despite the discovery of a new delicious cake, Michael eventually conceded that what he had in mind was, in fact, Belgian chocolate cake, the silly man!

P9220030

I also finally gave Michael his birthday present… a scavenger hunt with 20 clues, each one with money inside. It didn’t take him too long to solve all the clues but he loved it, yay!

P9220034

IMG_9892

Got himself a nice golf club (60deg wedge) with extra birthday money leftover for other enjoyments! Happy birthday my dearest! Here’s to many more to come!

Capricorn Food & Wine Festival 2015

The Capricorn Food & Wine Festival 2015 took place over September 18-20th against the backdrop of the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton. A 3 day, fun-(celebrity chef)-filled weekend with activities such as the Candlelit Gala Dinner, Fitzroy Food Court, Wine Pavillon, Bundaberg Distillatorium, High Tea, etc!

With the way our schedules worked, we were able to take part in the Friday evening festivities. Unfortunately, Michael was working Friday-Sunday and couldn’t come along!

IMG_5277

There was a $10 entrance fee, which included a lovely etched wine glass. With said wine glass, you can visit the Wine Pavillon at your leisure for wine tastings. And for any wine that tickles your fancy, drink tickets can be purchased for $2.50 each. Most glasses of wine cost 2 drink tickets.

IMG_9894

IMG_5286

The purpose of our visit is, of course, to eat and drink! Numerous food stalls made up the Fitzroy Food Court – yum! “Sample a great range of gourmet food stalls, local produce, cheese platters, pastries, nibbles and more. Shop a range of home and kitchen wares, gourmet food to take home and enjoy”

Many food stalls to choose from, sweet to savoury, catering for all tastes!

We enjoyed a number of dishes including savoury deep fried flat bread from Hungarian Langos and refreshing iced teas from Too Teaz.

IMG_5279

We also had this great combo platter from The Smokin’ Yak which included beef ribs, pulled pork, sausage and the collective favourite – Brahman hump – all with a side of drippings, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and homemade pickled cucumber and onions… delicious!

IMG_5282

Great night out with friends! So many laughs.

IMG_5283

The above was a shot taken while we were reminiscing the best of all ‘Cinnamon Challenge’ videos… this one 😛 No explanation needed.

The event was immensely popular as you can see! Packed with people enjoying themselves 🙂

IMG_5285

Jess and Jin looking at some photos

IMG_5288

The cute Kon & Amanda! 🙂

IMG_5290

Definitely looking forward to the Food & Wine festival next year! Hopefully our work schedules will allow us to experience more activities – until next time!

Triple birthday dinner at The Ranch

September 12, 2015

Thank you to all of you who came out to celebrate our September babies – Garrett, Jess and Michael! I was amazed at the number of attendees on such late notice – you guys rock!

We decided on dinner at The Ranch Bar and Grill for a few reasons:

  • Very recently opened, so none of us had visited yet
  • Numerous good reviews
  • Convenient location for everyone!

The Ranch had just recently opened, so some hiccups were expected, but we luckily didn’t encounter too many! We initially made a reservation for 12 people at 8pm. However, because our friends are awesome and more people responded than anticipated, we had to change our reservation last minute to 16. The staff were lovely and more than accommodating with our request, however it did take quite a bit of time to set up. By the time we were seated, it was almost 9pm and we had to rush to get our orders in before the kitchen closed.

IMG_5190

I called in advance to make sure it would be okay with me bringing a cake. Yes, and they were more happy to keep our cake in the fridge – thank you! Made a banana chocolate raspberry cake with Nutella icing 🙂

IMG_5174

They have a bar area (room to sit and stand), which was great while we waited to be seated, perfect to mingle and talk. A variety of beers on tap and a couple of special cocktails. For some reason, we weren’t able to order other bar drinks (ie. gin & tonic) – wasn’t sure why, but we didn’t push it!

IMG_5175

Did we mention there was live music? Yep! I have to admit, our group was more busy catching up with one another than tuning into the music, but the other patrons were certainly enjoying it!

IMG_5176

IMG_5177

The menu looked great and everyone was happy with their meals! The portions were also generous and the food freshly cooked!

Both tables ordered the Wagon Train – Entree Combination Platter ($32 for 2 and $48 for 4) – Let’s just say… if you’re ordering the platter, you don’t need a main meal! A mix of potato skins, chicken tenders, stuffed jalapenos, and spicy chicken wings – a great value!

IMG_5178

2 of our birthday boys

IMG_5180

Everyone was quite happy with their steaks, which were cooked medium-rare. Unfortunately, due to the rush, they weren’t allowed to rest for the appropriate amount of time so all the juices ran out on the plate as soon as the steak was cut. Hand cut chips in the mini pails were a cute touch!

IMG_5181

Birthday girl, pretty in red!

IMG_5182

IMG_5209

A terrible photo but my San Antonio Chicken Burger ($17.90) was yum! The succulent, crispy chicken really makes the burger!

IMG_5183

It was getting late by the time we were finished dinner and ready to move on to cake cutting. The staff were wonderful! They insisted it wouldn’t be too much trouble and even insisted on finding us enough matching tableware for the cake cutting/eating.

IMG_5207

IMG_5208

Thank you so much! It worked out much better than taking the cake away and having to all head over to someone else’s house to eat it.

IMG_5186

IMG_5187

Happy birthday you three!! Thank you to the staff at The Ranch! And of course, to all our friends for coming out to celebrate!

IMG_5210

IMG_5211

IMG_5212

We will definitely be coming back for more meals in the future!

Triple Birthday Dinner

September 12, 2015

We had 3 lovely people celebrating their birthdays within 1 week:

  • Garrett – Sept 14
  • Jessamine – Sept 18
  • Michael – Sept 21

So it made perfect sense to me to organise a birthday celebration for the September babies!

Started the day with a late morning picnic gathering at the beach. The initial plan was Rosalyn Bay Beach but it was incredibly windy so we opted for Lammermoor Beach instead. Thank you David, Farrah, Pei Yee, Amanda, Bryan, Usama for coming out! Unfortunately, both Jess and Jin were working during the day, so it was just for Garrett and Mike.

We drove to Keppel Bay Marina for a late lunch at The Waterline Restaurant. Beautiful views and delicious food! The lunch specials are great and they’ve got Brewhouse specials that are definitely worth checking out!

Can’t be a birthday celebration without a good dinner! More about that in the next post 🙂